Writing Principles

I think of this weblog as a small place for me to write. The reason I write is because I have this innate implicit belief that I learn only by teaching. In hindsight, that’s why I wrote those books and that’s why I keep writing in this space.

The “head fake” is that if I don’t have something interesting to write once in a while, it means I’m not doing anything creative or worthwhile in my life. And as a wise man once said “If you don’t like the news, go out and make some of your own.”

There are four reasons why I believe that my weblog has actually been useful or at least interesting to other people.

First was finding out that it was ranked No. 6 in India according to Indiblogger ranking (as of July 23, 2009). I never imagined this writing space to be part of any listing mostly because I don’t write about a niche topic or write about news or tech tips, which are the recipes for a popular website. My interest was in only writing some of my own thoughts, not talking about what others are doing.

Second was finding out that it was ranked No. 5 in India according to Invesp Ultimate BlogRank listing (as of August 17, 2009). And this was ahead of veteran/famous people like Rajesh Jain, FoneArena and others. I was quite surprised.

invesp listing snapshot on August 17, 2009

When I expressed this on twitter, two of my good friends replied saying I shouldn’t be surprised…

@t3rmin4t0r reply

@vinayakh reply

(I hope they don’t mind me quoting them, I wanted to record this just to prove I’m not making this up ;-))

That kind of made me believe that this blog is actually bigger than I tend to think about it. But don’t worry, I’m not going to let it get to my head. Nothing’s going to change. I will continue to write about my observations and this just happens to be one of them :)

I thought I’d jot down some of the writing principles that I’ve absorbed over the years, for those who have asked me this question before:

  • “Blog about your passions. Don’t blog about what you think your audience wants. Post because you have something you are dying to write about.” — Mark Cuban
  • “One doesn’t make art for other people, even though I am very concerned with the viewer.” — Anish Kapoor
  • “I love encouraging people to live a little more consciously. I like challenging people to consider different perspectives. I know that many people think such pursuits are lame, naive, or pointless. I don’t care. This path inspires me. The more I think about it, the better I feel. It wouldn’t matter if the whole world disagreed with me.” — Steve Pavlina
  • The point is not to show up on a list, the point is to start a conversation that spreads, to share ideas and to chronicle your thinking. That’s the work of an author. — Seth Godin
  • Thoughtful comments and feedback are what keeps me still writing, such as those comments by Sridhar Ratna and others, although I usually don’t have something clever to say to continue the conversation, I just listen to others’ perspectives and learn. Intellectual stimulation is/should be one of the basic necessities in life.
  • Every post has to be consistent and of the highest quality (learned this the hard way) — Darren Rowse
  • Have a regular posting habit as much as possible — Darren Rowse
  • 69 Questions to Ask to Review Your Blog — Darren Rowse
  • Don’t write about anything that you wouldn’t discuss with a room full of people.

Thanks for reading.

6 thoughts on “Writing Principles

  1. Truly said Swaroop! Thanks for presenting long forgotten facts as micro-blogging steps in…. This comes in as I was thinking of re-blogging after long time. Had been caught up with Twitter to such an extent that blogging had to take back seat!
    Keep blogging! :)

  2. I totally agree with you Swaroop. I have been a big fan of you and your blog. The main reason why people would love to read blogs is – they want something, some perspective, which conventional media is not able to provide.

    Blogs are a way to share ideas and generate debates. I am sure that your blog will not just be a one way tech blog but a platform to share readers’ thoughts.

    All the best.

  3. Congrats Swaroop. I think I came across your blog two years back (it had the old design then :-)), when I was searching for some Linux stuff. I have been reading your blog since then regularly. The posts are quite interesting and informative. Keep blogging!

  4. @Sujit Thank you. All the best for getting back to writing in the longer form!

    @Sharada Prasad Yes, the perspective and the comments are what makes it a wonderful medium. AVC.com is a prime example of this.

    @Anuj, @Rohit, @Sanish Thank you guys! It is sincerely heartening and meaningful to me :)

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